Leave, Change or Accept

Paula Goode is a Coach, Author and Healthcare Transformation Specialist. Founder of the The Coach Hub at Goodeinsight Ltd (goodeinsight.co.uk)

 

 “When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness”

            Eckhart Tolle

How do we know what we can change and what we can’t? Who knows? Nevertheless, there are those that will try and others who do not. What appears to make the difference seems to boils down to choice. Leave, change or accept. There’s a current trend emerging, that just accepting suggests we are helpless, having learned to be helpless, so to speak.

In conversation recently someone told me that the problem at hand (or out of hand even) had been around for 35 years, all had tried to solve it without success. There was a sense of inevitability about any attempts to resolve this issue. Noticing that the rules applied to the decision-making resulted in only one outcome (the unhelpful one), two things occurred to me:

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself”

       Andrew Murphy
 

“We cannot solve problems with the same level of thinking that created them”

            Einstein

 Martin Seligman, the American Psychologist and expert on positive psychology suggests that helplessness is learned. We become conditioned into believing that we cannot change a seemingly difficult situation. We don’t try, confined by the walls of our imagination. Unconsciously we unwittingly reinforce and sustain this self-created reality.

If Einstein is correct, then creating a different result means finding new ways of thinking. This involves a commitment to change, a commitment to solving the problem, the creation of something new.  Se we leave, change or accept? Either way the choice is yours….

“Never believe a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

            Margaret Mead

 
Paula Goode is the author of Notes on Nursing a Thought (2014)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=paula%20goode

 

 

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An Inconvenient Truth

Notes On Nursing A Blog by Paula Goode

Paula Goode is a Coach, Author and Healthcare Transformation Specialist. Founder of The Coach Hub at Goodeinsight Ltd (goodeinsight.co.uk)

Opening the book by Steven Pinker – The Sense of Style. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, there is a sense of impending discomfort. There won’t be any escape in this attempt to become a better writer. Taking a deep breath the reading progresses.

The opening chapter hints that all might not be lost:

‘“Education is an admirable thing”, wrote Oscar Wilde, “but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.””

Does Pinker believe this an untruth? He describes the character and skills of a good writer, it doesn’t sound like me but there’s hope.

“I would not have written this book if I did not believe, contra Wilde, that many principles of style really can be taught. But the starting point for becoming a good writer is to be a good reader.”

There are writers everywhere, some who can’t start, some who started and became stuck and some who just can’t stop writing. What makes a great writer, a popular writer?   Who knows, maybe Pinker might just tell me. There’s a theme building, as a coach I seem to be able to inspire other people to at least write, should they hanker to be an author.

It would seem ever more apparent that there is a common denominator, it isn’t unique to writing. The unconscious and conscious scripts that act out in our minds. What we say to ourselves, the conclusions we artfully craft to explain what holds us back, that which keeps us stuck.

Our state of mind creates our experience of the world. It’s nothing new, we know this really but it’s an inconvenient truth. Inconvenient because it is we that script the experiences that we may not wish to own.

Conveniently even a glimpse of this insight can change our lives. Even just one thought…

 Paula Goode is the author of Notes on Nursing a Thought

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=paula%20goode

Ref: Pinker S (2014) The Sense of Style. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Allen Lane, London.

The Habit of Excusing Oneself

I am sat waiting for a friend of mine who is a hospital consultant he’s late. He’s always late and I realise,  whilst pondering this,  that he rarely makes an excuse he just apologises. Only once I waited so long that I though he wasn’t actually going to turn up. It’s not personal; he’s late for everyone. As I write, a text arrives saying that he is in the resus bay with a critically ill child, he’s not coming, he doesn’t apologise because he doesn’t need to.

This time is used to write a blog that I was planning to write later. The blog was going to be about the ups and downs of habits and the excuses we make to ourselves in order to maintain these habits. For me, I’d like to spend more time writing and learning to be a better writer, but I spend a disproportionate amount of time on other activities – there are good excuses for this.

My blogs are late this year, having been unwell; I decided to take time off. I’ve had a good rest and feel better. This isn’t an excuse; it’s a conscious decision to take time off. There is a difference. This down time was an opportunity to reflect on the difference between conscious decision-making and excuse making. The difference isn’t the lack of intention. I notice that when I set out with my intention I go looking for reasons why it can’t be done, soon a sense of inertia begins to develop and there’s a feeling of being stuck. There’s something between the intention and the action – I realise it’s usually an excuse. Sub-consciously, I’m looking for the excuse and when I notice one I hold on to it.

The upside of noticing this is that we get to make a conscious decision about whether the goals or intentions we have set for ourselves really need our attention. The ability to make conscious choices in our intentions mean that an inability to achieve our goal can be more about either the quality of our decision making or the quality of our excuse making.

Intention – Excuse + Action + Result

So I’ve started my New Year, albeit slightly late, with some new intentions. With an eye on my personal excuse regulator it’s going to be an amazing and fruitful 2015.   Happy 2015, may it be filled with intentions and cured of its excuses. It’s a cure that requires no prescription, those excuses – just let them go…

Choosing To Let Go

Some of you will know that I spent some time with Michael Neill at the Supercoach Academy recently – he teaches The Three Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness.

One of the insightful teachings at the heart of the principles is the fundamental understanding that as humans we are inclined to being emotionally affected by what goes on around us through our thoughts. That the quality of our thoughts is alone responsible for the quality of our experience. This in itself can be a hard pill to swallow, especially for us action people, who love to go around helping and fixing anything that’s broken – in the world of the form (physical) that includes broken bones, injured bodies, the sick and the organisations that care for those in need of repair. It would seem that our emotions and feelings come about as a direct result of the quality of our thoughts, which ones we give energy to and which ones just flit in and out of our conscious awareness, are all just choices we make. Given the gift of conscious awareness, we get to observe and choose our thoughts.

The analogy of the pill is a great one to use here. We have all heard of the placebo. The placebo tricks the mind into believing that a cure or palliative intervention has taken place and somehow our symptoms disappear.  We get better because we expect to. There is a plethora of evidence to support this – so clearly it would seem that mind really has an influence over matter. This is nothing new in the world of self-improvement or medicine. The preference for medicine over non-clinical interventions is a debate for another day. Just maybe it’s a pill that’s just a little difficult for the power brokers to swallow.

When I first heard that maybe I was responsible for my own crappy day, I wasn’t best pleased. Then something really amazing happened. Along with the responsibility came freedom to choose, at any moment in time I got to let go of those negative thoughts and create space for a much more resourceful presence. It turns out I didn’t need to go looking for a pill to swallow I just needed to learn to let go.

Towards Success Versus Away From Failure

Over the last few months I have noticed that blogs written in a more ‘towards’ something better rather than ‘away’ from something undesirable, seem to generate much more interest from my readers.

Now this sounds pretty obvious when put this way, that people prefer to read and be inspired to generate a more positive, optimistic view of the future ahead. Focused on what we would like to create versus dwelling on what we would diminish appeals to most of us.

There’s a well-defined stream that runs through the world of self-improvement that is common to all. The idea that you get more of what you focus on. When we think about our goals, our plans and our strategy it helps to formulate a direction of travel and to focus on the journey ahead. At its simplest, when you focus on your problems, you appear to have more of them. When you focus on what’s good about life, what’s good about work and what’s good even about the taste of our coffee in the morning, we feel a sense of gratitude that softens our world.

So, take a moment…consider how much time is spent dwelling on what’s not working versus creatively planning a new and more colourful scene. As Walt Disney is famously quoted:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Keep on dreaming, keep on creating and keep on believing.  You can do it!

Cracking the Leadership Enigma

In conversation with an Executive Director of Nursing recently I had commented on a trip to one of the health libraries. I was researching contemporary healthcare leaders. Unfortunately on this occasion the assistant couldn’t point me to the section on contemporary leaders. This rather peaked my curiosity. The really obvious ones were there, but they weren’t actually alive.

I started to ask colleagues of mine who they though the current leaders in healthcare were, the living ones. A few names came up, but not many. This started to really peak my interest. I followed this up whilst continuing my research into leadership.   After all, there are a plethora of books written on the subject, you can even have a master’s degree in leadership.

Whilst pondering this, something new occurred to me. Did people need to know who you were in order for you to be a leader?   Then I began to notice around me, everyday leaders. Their acts were in some cases small and others somewhat warrior like. I wondered if, in a world that is slightly celebrity obsessed we somehow expect the leaders to be high profile and if they weren’t splashed across the media they didn’t exist. That celebrity and riches was the societal reward for achievement. The irony, a truth that revealed a paradox.

Therefore, if you want to find a healthcare leader, you don’t need to go to the library, switch on the TV or Radio. You won’t necessarily find them studying an MSc in Leadership Studies. They work at all levels of the organisation and most work without the need for recognition.

Now that we know that leadership isn’t some enigmatic, charismatic, phenomenon there really is no reason not to begin. We get to make a choice are we a leader or are we a follower? Start today, nobody needs to know…show up when you’re ready.

Rain or Shine

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I am sat in a cafe on the coast of Wales.  The sun is out and although it’s cloudy there is a warmth and beauty to the day.

Today feels good.  Having just come out of a black hole of a mood over the last week it feels good to be back in touch with a feeling of gratitude.

My low mood got triggered somehow before I had chance to catch it.  I’ve had to back track that one, because it seemed like there really was something or someone to blame.  When it’s down to something other than you it feels like you have no power over the feeling and it’s a fully legitimate bad mood.  Or so the ego would have us believe.

What struck me though, that just like my dark mood which can come and go, the feeling of overwhelm can come and go without any real change in what we see as reality.  Overwhelm, like a bad mood can keep you stuck in one place, paralysed into intertia, waiting for something other than you to change.  When we are like this we can choose to blame other people, it absolves our need to do something and this keeps us stuck for longer.  It creates more of what we don’t want rather than what we do want.

So I found, along with many others,  that when I look for gratitude and what’s good about my day the black hole becomes lighter and the world around me starts looking more friendly and connected.  Gratitude and optimism however small shine a light on our conscious thoughts moment by moment.  They act as an antidote to the difficulties that can occupy our thoughts.  Turns out my black hole is an illusion created by me.  I just need to remember to turn the light on.